The NRL should seriously consider a bi-annual Six Nations tournament with Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga and Fiji all included, with games taken to each country.
Shortening the NRL season to accommodate this competition would be the simplest and smartest solution: 22 Rounds, with the top eight teams from the previous year playing each other twice, bottom eight sides playing each other twice and then the top eight playing bottom eight sides once each.
Then reinstate the traditional ANZAC Test between Australia and New Zealand, which would also double as a Six Nations game. Take a week off from NRL competition for each of the three Origin fixtures. On those weekends have matches between the other five Pacific nations.
At the end of the year Australia could have a short tour of the islands, playing against Tonga, Samoa, Fiji and Papua New Guinea, while any other games would also be played in that time and then the top two sides would play in the final.
ANZAC Test week – Australia v New Zealand | Papua New Guinea v Fiji | Tonga v Samoa
State of Origin I week – NSW v QLD | Papua New Guinea v New Zealand | Samoa v Fiji
State of Origin II week – QLD v NSW | Tonga v Fiji | Papua New Guinea v Samoa
State of Origin III week – NSW v QLD | Papua New Guinea v Tonga | Samoa v New Zealand
End of season tour: Australia plays Tonga, Samoa, Fiji and Papua New Guinea; New Zealand plays Tonga and Fiji
The four weeks saved during the year would be spent on the end-of-season tour games, therefore the players are not playing more games than they already are, and the burnout argument becomes defunct.